Fourteen years ago today, country music superstar Miranda Lambert released her second studio album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend really solidified Miranda Lambert’s status as a badass woman of country music. The entire album features songs about heartbreak and revenge. Lambert released four singles for the album, three of which became hits on the charts.
“Famous in a Small Town” and “More Like Her” performed well. “Gunpowder & Lead” landed Miranda Lambert her first Top 10 song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2008. And the title track, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” peaked in the number nine spot on the charts.
The album soared to the number one spot on Billboard’s Top Country Albums. Additionally, the album peaked in the number six spot on the overall American Top Albums chart. As every country fan knows, America loves songs about women getting even. And Miranda Lambert certainly delivers with this album.
What’s The Story Behind Miranda Lambert’s ‘Gunpowder & Lead’?
Lambert co-wrote “Gunpowder & Lead” with Heather Little who also helped her write her debut single, “Me and Charlie Talking.” The song is about a woman, sitting next to her front door with a shotgun waiting for her abusive ex-partner to come back after being released from jail. The song is a gritty, empowering tale of a woman who isn’t taking any more sh** from anyone. The song has since become an anthem for badass women everywhere.
During the song, Lambert sings, “I’m goin’ home, gonna load my shotgun. Wait by the door, and light a cigarette. If he wants a fight, well, now he’s got one. And he ain’t seen me crazy yet. He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll. Don’t that sound like a real man? I’m going to show him what little girls are made of, gunpowder and lead.”
The Song Is Based on Experiences Miranda Witnessed While Growing Up
But the song is closer to home for Miranda Lambert than many may think. During an interview in 2015, Lambert revealed that the song is based on women she lived with while growing up.
“Some people are like, ‘Ugh! I can’t believe she’s singing that!’ And it’s meant to be taken lighthearted in some aspects, but [this song is] also very real to me,” said Lambert. “When I was younger, my parents took in abused women and their kids, so I saw firsthand what damage it can do to a family to be in an abusive relationship.”
In publicity materials for the album, Miranda Lambert talked more about how the song came to be.
“Heather Little and I have written a lot together, but I haven’t cut a lot of those songs yet. She lives in the house I grew up in, right down the street from us. I had one day at home to write, and we sat in her kitchen,” said Lambert. “We had the whole song written except for the line about what little girls are made of.”
Lambert said that she couldn’t stop thinking about the song, even during a concealed handgun class the next day.
“The next day, I was in my concealed handgun class and I was calling Heather on the breaks every hour,” said Lambert. “My dad kept saying, ‘You’re not paying attention, you’re gonna fail the test.’ I was thinking, what’s actually in bullets, what are they made of? And then the words ‘gunpowder and lead’ just popped into my head. “
Miranda Lambert added that the song brings country music back to its roots.
“That song talks about real things – drinking and fighting,” said Lambert. “And we need to bring all that back to country music.”